Although Food Day is officially only celebrated on October 24, we can learn about food justice every day of the year! The RAC has a variety of resources available here to help you find programming that fits your specific needs.
For more information contact Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Raechel Banks.
"You may plant your land for six years and gather its crops. But during the seventh year, you must leave it alone." - Exodus 23: 10-11.
Program Ideas and Resources
Integrate food justice programs into your fall holiday celebrations or host an event on Food Day (October 24th, 2013) with an idea, or three, from our extensive menu of options!
What you can do:
Fight for Justice from Farm to Table! The Farm Bill, which impacts everything from emergency food programs to sustainable farms, is stalled in Congress. Act now to support anti-hunger programs in the Farm Bill reauthorization.
Share your harvest! Glean unharvested crops from a local garden or farm to donate to an emergency food provider, or volunteer at a soup kitchen. Find more information here.
Start a dining club to support local restaurants that prioritize sustainable ingredients, animal welfare or fair trade! Call local restaurants to ask about their practices and remind them that their patrons value food justice.
Host a Sacred Table party: Discuss an essay from the CCAR's Sacred Table book of essays over a meal of local, seasonal foods.
Check it out: Visit a site on your food chain before the supermarket like a seed supplier, trucking company, or cannery. See what it takes to get that ear of corn from the ground to your plate.
Put it in writing: Include an article on food justice in your synagogue newsletter with a list of local soup kitchens or food pantries that need volunteers. You can also write about your Food Day events for a food blog or local paper.
Can It! Kick off the new year with a food drive. Fruits and vegetables are needed at emergency food providers and healthier canned foods can meet this need. Look for low-sodium, no sugar-added and/or preservative-free labels, and choose healthier canned options.
Pickin' Time: Apples are in season across much of North America, so Fall is a great time to visit an orchard. Consider donating your harvest to a local emergency food provider.
Give Thanks: Eat with kavannah (intention) during your holiday meals, with Jewish food blessings from Motzi to Birkat HaMazon, food justice discussion questions, and by making a "food commitment" (like Meatless Mondays) for the new Jewish year.
For the Kids: Donate your weekly tzedekah to an emergency food service provider, incorporate a food justice text study into your youth service with our "Food, Glorious Food" Living Talmud, or have a religious school program that teaches about sustainable food systems and includes samples of local apples and honey!
Preach it! The rest of the year, your sermons are food for thought. Make Food Day a time for thoughts on food. For ideas, visit the URJ's sample sermons on food.
Read all about it: Host a book discussion with works from Michael Pollan, Barbara Kingsolver, or Jonathan Safran Foer. You can even start a food book club for the year!
Eat in style: Cherish your first fall meals with a blessing, include table tents with food justice discussion questions at your events, and choose healthy and sustainably-produced foods for your celebrations.
What is "fit"? Examine your synagogue's existing food policies - what is deemed "fit" to serve in a sacred Jewish space? Which environmental and ethical factors are considered? Study the sources and consider revising your congregation's food policies.
Foodie Films: Screen a food justice movie like FRESH, Food Inc. or Forks over Knives and discuss the film's themes. For a FRESH discussion guide, click here.
Farmers' Market: Host a food carnival in your social hall or parking lot with local food, cooking demonstrations and discussions with local food justice organizations.